Christina’s Journey: The Biggest Fight-Remission

It is the month of September, which is Blood Cancer Awareness: Lymphoma and Leukemia and it is time to celebrate the fighters and the survivors of these cancers.  My question is, when will the fight ever end?

Remission from cancer or any other Chronic Disease does not imply that your body will ever be truthful to you again.  It betrayed you one time and it continues to betray you, just like the saying “once a cheater always a cheater.”  As soon as you begin trusting your body it does a U-Turn and heads back down the road you just fought.  Living as a cancer survivor the expectations are set high from your Medical Team and yourself of how your life will be after cancer.  You want to pick up from which was left off from when you were fighting for your life and it does not quite work out in that manner.   I am in a constant war to live a fulfilled and prosperous life because 2 1/2 years of my life was stolen.  I am in the phase of making up for lost time, which can become very taxing on the mental, emotional, and physical elements of myself but it must be completed.

I celebrate every small victory that I have as I am fighting to stay alive in all capacities of my being.  I am going to be very transparent of what I mean of celebrating small victories.  I have accomplished to run two successful businesses at the same time, I no longer fear having the security of my support circle to accomplish a task, I can travel alone either it is driving or going on a trip, and  I now use my voice to articulate my emotions instead of withholding.  Yes, you see I have won the battle of cancer but the war is still going on around me.  It is either I continue to push forward or go into nonexistence and isolation.

It is difficult being open on this very topic since it is my current situation but I never will allow anyone to feel sorry for me or believe that fighting for your life is not worth every needle, pill, doctor visit, or the feeling of uncertainity.  It will allow you to appreciate your life and lives around you.  It is important that we take care of ourselves mentally and physically to cope with our Chronic Diseases because I am learning how to finally take advantage of my opportunities.  It takes more than yourself to get through your “new” normal of living.  It will be hard but your hard work will pay off at the end.  You will be blessed abundantly as long as you are obedient in the process.

I hope and pray that my story will help someone on their battle of coping or fighting with a Chronic Disease.  Never feel defeated because our bodies are not cooperating in the fashion as we want them to, but try the best you can to work within your realm so you may enjoy life.

Follow my Journey of Remission on Social Media:

FB: My Journey of Remission

Instagram:  @Foreveryoung_Love13

New Normal


Anchors: Nina Gordon

Today’s Anchor for the month of July is a true gem.  I met Ms. Nina years ago because her daughter and me grew up together and are good friends.  I have watched her incredible journey in life and how she has overcame to be a triumphant contribution to the community.  Anchor 6, Inc. is multi-faceted and we address all levels of Chronic Illness that Young Adults can face in their lives.  I am sharing Nina’s story because it is empowering and it is great but it will open your eyes into who we are as Health Advocates.  I hope Nina’s story will put a smile on your face and know that we are all on this journey called life together.

Ms. Nina Gordon has a Nonprofit, Together As One Ministries, Inc., the organization is a Ministry to help women from the age of 18-up to develop faith, love, and self esteem.  To be able to live their lives without the use of drugs and alcohol, built on nothing but the love of God and one another.

Nina’s Social Media Platform:

FB: Anchors: Nina Gordon

IG: ziongsgma

In September 1996, I was diagnosed with HIV [at the age of 29].  For those that don’t know, that’s the virus that can cause AIDS.  I can remember that day when the Nurse told me I was positive(HIV).  Those words, what she had on, the time of day and that devastating look she had on her face at the time, I can remember it all.   I knew it was just as hard for her to tell me as much as it was for me to hear.   September 18, 1996, my life would forever be changed from that moment on.

              I can remember the days and weeks that led up to my initially being okay with even having a HIV test in the first place.  I had been living with my boyfriend, at the time who was a crack user and continuously returning home giving me the disease Chlamydia.  I kept asking him if he went to the doctor to get it cleared and of course he was lying.  My first mistake I had to continue to ask instead of making sure, but due to his continued drug use, I eventually left him and moved back to Gastonia, NC, my hometown.

              Once you have been diagnosed with HIV the stigma sets in immediately before you even tell the first person.  I set myself a part from everyone even my children.  The very first person that I told was my high school English teacher.  She was working at the time.  I don’t know how I drove from the doctor’s office to Ashbrook to tell her, crying the whole way there, but I did.  Just so happen God allowed her to be doing her planning period where only she was in the classroom at the time.  Everything was so dark for me.  All I could think about was that I needed to share this with someone else and that someone was her.  I remembered, she listened and gave me hugs occasionally and then I left. 

              If you are not walking this same path as I am, you will never understand my pain   Although I have dealt with HIV for almost 20 years, this does not make the mental and emotional times be easier.  I had family and friends to walk away.  I have had my children talked about because I am their mother.  My children have had to defend my honor to some people they did not even know.  I have had to always tell any potential mate that I am HIV positive not only because the state of NC requires that I do, because it is the right and just thing to do.  He never told me and he knew!!!!

              I would never want anyone to go through everyday life where people look at you not for the color of your skin but because you are in a fight to save your life and the lives of the people coming behind me.  I live to help the next person that gets this diagnosis and think it’s a death sentence like I did.  But today, it is not.  We are living longer and healthier lives.  HIV does not define who I am, I define what HIV is.  I have done everything the doctors have asked me to do.  I stop smoking crack, cocaine, and drinking alcohol along with any other illegal substance for over 13 years ago. 

I have been on my medications for over 13 years and have taken them every day since.  There have been a couple of times where I have forgotten and that is only because once I think about if I have taken my medications or not, I don’t want to take another one just in case.  I fight this illness with my work and my mouth! I work with men and women newly diagnosed and those that have been positive for longer than I have.   See God knew that I would be that beacon of hope for the next generation coming through scared, afraid and thinking heir life is over. 

              There is HOPE and I know there will be a CURE soon.  I pray this helps encourage everyone if they have not yet, be tested.  It does not matter your race, man or woman.  No one is exempt from this but everyone can be educated and fight together.  No one ever needs to die.  This is why I fight every day for a cure.

Anchors: Ms. Amanda Bernauer

Today, Anchor 6, Inc. is featuring Ms. Amanda Bernauer. Today’s Anchor is more personal, because Amanda and I were childhood friends.  I remember when Amanda became ill in high school, it was a shock to all of us. When you’re a teenager, being faced with an illness is the furthest thing from your mind. Amanda was faced with shocking news that completely changed her life. Although Amanda’s story is still being written, as she is living and coping with multiple chronic illnesses. However, what she has already persevered through is incredible. Amanda’s strength and determination to go on, against all odds, is amazing! I know her story is going to encourage so many others. Thank you Amanda for sharing your story with us.

Keep up with Amanda on:

Instagram: abernauer85


I will never forget the neurologist whipping around in her chair and exclaiming the seriousness of my M.R.I results. I will never forget the look on her face or the fear in her eyes. I can, to this day, feel the terror in my mother’s embrace as she wraps her arms around me. I can still remember the expression on my father’s face, portraying emotions that I had never witnessed before. I don’t think that I’ve ever been so terrified in my life. I was only fifteen years old, a sophomore in high school, and this wasn’t part of the plan. The diagnosis? Well, the doctor called it an “astrocytoma” and it was about to change my life forever. I had been having severe headaches for weeks prior to the devastating diagnosis, even to the point that the left side of my body had gone totally numb. My primary care physician initially diagnosed me with shingles, while something more serious hadn’t even crossed our minds. My doctor made me an appointment with a well-renowned neurosurgeon at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, whom my family has since nicknamed my “saving grace.”

My parents and I met with Dr. Wilson the following day and he was surprisingly optimistic as to my prognosis, while having great confidence that he could successfully remove the baseball-sized tumor from my brain stem without many lasting effects. The future immediately started looking brighter. I remember my pastor visiting me in pre-op and, trying to find the right words, simply told me to face the “eye of the tiger” and the Lord will bring you through it. I wasn’t totally sure what that meant yet, but I nodded and was whisked away. The ten-hour surgery was tedious and I spent a couple days in the ICU, but the first thing I saw upon entering my hospital room in the pediatric wing was a poster of a tiger. It was no coincidence and I believe that was God’s way of telling me, “YOU WON!”

Amanda Teen

I turned sixteen years old a mere three weeks after brain surgery and I remember celebrating my “Sweet Sixteen” by simply thanking God that I was alive. I wear a scar nicknamed my “c for courage” as a constant reminder that pain is real, but so is hope. I’d love to tell you that was my happy ending, but it was only the beginning. I needed to have repeat M.R.I. scans on an annual basis to check for re-growth and my five year scan in 2006 brought a new issue into focus… a pituitary adenoma. Wait… another tumor? I was happy to learn that lots of people have small adenomas that are never detected because they don’t grow large enough or secrete enough hormones to cause a problem, but what damage, if any, was this tumor doing to my body? It was determined that a “wait and see” approach was the way to go, wait and see what symptoms arise and treat them as we go. Gee, thanks.

I was diagnosed with type II diabetes in 2009, then hashimoto’s thyroiditis and fibromyalgia in 2012, and against all odds, pregnant in early 2013, but I was told by my OB-GYN at 6 weeks to anticipate a miscarriage. Say what? It was predestined that I was incapable of growing a healthy baby inside of my “broken” body, but I was unwilling to accept that as reality. I don’t think I’ve worked harder for anything in my life than I did for my unborn baby. I found an OB-GYN who believed in me and I followed her instructions explicitly. I pricked my finger 3-5 times a day, ate a property balanced diet, and administered my own insulin injections to maintain proper blood sugar levels. I passed every test with flying colors and only gained 13 lbs during pregnancy. My water broke in the wee hours of the morning on November 16, 2013; I labored for nearly 12 hours, pushed for 61 minutes, and gave birth to a healthy little boy. It was a dream come true and I knew what I was supposed to be feeling, rather what I wanted to be feeling, but something was missing. I was a good mother, but I wasn’t happy. I smiled, but I cried all the time. I didn’t want to be alone. I was exhausted, but I couldn’t sleep. I was simply going through the motions and doing what needed to be done. It took nearly three months of this misery for me to realize that merely surviving is NOT thriving. I was diagnosed with postpartum depression and prescribed medication to help with the ups and downs. Whew… it is over yet?

It’s been an incredible couple of years watching our baby grow into a happy, healthy toddler, but it was becoming harder and harder to keep up with him. I felt like a 30 year old trapped in a body decades older and the pain was quickly consuming my life. I was finally able to see a rheumatologist after waiting months for an appointment and tests confirmed a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system – which normally protects our body by attacking foreign substances like bacteria and viruses – mistakenly attacks the joints. Ugh… really? I’m in constant pain, my joints pop like Rice Krispies, and every day brings different challenges. I never know whether it’s going to be a good day or a bad day. I’ve had to learn to smile through the pain because life won’t wait for me to catch up. On the flip side, I’ve learned to stop and smell the roses because my body needs the break. I’ve had to learn that asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness and to seek help when the pain is simply too much to bear. I’ve had to learn how to push myself without pushing myself over the edge because giving up is NOT an option. I am a warrior with an invisible battle to be fought every single day, but I am a SURVIVOR.

Amanda and Baby

I’m so thankful for the opportunity to share my story. I have known Kermilya since 5th grade and I’ve always been inspired by her genuine desire to help others, so it’s no surprise that she co-founded an organization to aid in providing comfort to those coping with a chronic illness. I pray that sharing the intimate details of my own personal experiences might shine a light on someone else’s darkness.

Amanda Bernauer


Anchors: Ms. Bo Smith

Each month Anchor 6, Inc. will feature two young adults that are surviving and fighting through their chronic illnesses. Anchor 6, Inc. would like to introduce their second “Anchor” of the month, Ms. Bo Smith.

Today, Ms. Bo Smith is sharing her journey of surviving an extremely rare form of breast cancer. Bo was diagnosed with stage 3 inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) at the age of 29. Bo has an amazing spirit! She is a fighter, and has a will to live! Her story has touched my life personally, and has touched many others as well!

To keep up with Bo, LIKE her page on Facebook at:

I was 29 years old, recently engaged, and ready to start a family when I received the most horrific news of my life. I was diagnosed with stage 3 inflammatory breast cancer (IBC). IBC is an extremely rare breast cancer that has no early diagnosis and is found when the cancer has progressed to stages 3 or 4. I found a lump in my breast, which is usually not a symptom of IBC. I went in to the doctor knowing something was wrong, but tried to remain positive. When I received my diagnosis, I went straight to MD Anderson in Houston, TX. I started chemotherapy every week.

Bo Smith Last Chemo
Bo’s First Chemo Session

I spent 7 months on chemotherapy, with 6 drugs total. It was extremely difficult. I was hospitalized twice for having extremely low blood counts. I received 4 blood transfusions and a platelet transfusion. When my hair started falling out, I cried, then grabbed some clippers and shaved my head. I never let cancer control me. I made sure to always keep the upper hand, even when it seemed impossible to do. After chemo, I had my surgery. I was terrified to lose my breast. I didn’t know how I would feel, or my fiancé. I didn’t want to walk away after all I had been through, and hate my new body. Because my cancer has a high recurrence rate, I am not a candidate for immediate reconstruction, so I would be living with one breast for at least two years. It was one of the most terrifying things I had ever experienced, going into the hospital the morning of my surgery, but once I was out, I went home, stood in front of the mirror and just stared at my new body. I was ok. I then did 44 rounds of radiation. I went twice a day and spent about 20 min each time on the table. Once I finished that, I was done. I was told that I had a complete response to chemo and my pathology report from surgery came back clear. My fight, for now, was over.

1st Chemo
Bo’s Last Chemo Session

Once I was healed, I was able to really look at my new body. A body full of stretch marks, scars and a patch of radiated skin. I feel beautiful and blessed to be in this body. Every day I wake up healthy and cancer free, is a gift to me.

Bo Smith

Anchors: Ms. Lauren McCray

Our organization is far beyond Kermilya and my experiences with Chronic Illnesses.  There are other Young Adults who shall no longer have to live in silence because of their illnesses.  We all need an “Anchor” in our lives to continue to give us hope and determination to continue going on each day.

Today, Ms. Lauren McCray story will be told and shared about her “new” and wonderful life.  Her story is definitely a true testament to “God’s Promises” and how He will always “order our steps” if you believe and trust.  I am so proud of her accomplishments and her story.  Lauren will save many Young Adults who are in silence about their Chronic Illnesses.  We are all in this fight together.

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Lauren’s Social Life can be found on Anchors!

Hello All,

My name is Lauren McCray. I am a native of Gastonia, NC and currently residing in Winston-Salem, NC.  I’m a proud mother of an amazing two-year-old little boy, my pride and absolute joy, Grayson Gabriel.  My mother has always told me that my life had meaning and that I was created for a great purpose and destiny.  Before I was even born my parents almost lost me, when my mom fell down a flight of stairs.  She promised the Lord then that if He saved me that she would give me back to Him… Well it’s safe to say that He kept me and my mother kept her word.  My faith has always kept me even in the hardest of times, but February of this year tested my faith on a level that I have never faced before.  As a private person I normally keep things to myself, but I know that this experience was about way more than just Lauren…. So here we go!

On Super Bowl Sunday my life changed in a way that I never saw coming. I went to church, enjoyed service and then left to grab some last minute items to have at my Super Bowl party.  My son was hungry so after shopping I went to grab him a quick bite to eat.  I got out of my SUV, walked over to his side as I always do and when I went to pick him up, my entire left side went numb, and I felt paralyzed.  My chest was tight and I felt like I couldn’t breathe.  I knew where I was. I could hear my son calling my name but I was frozen and terrified.  After a few minutes the feeling went away and shortly after I had the worst headache I had ever experienced.  I was really worried but I didn’t tell anyone, I thought that maybe I was just tired or that it was stress induced and I was wrong.

The same thing happened again the next day after I left work and I knew then that something was wrong with me.  I told my family and was advised to go to the hospital.  A few hours in the emergency department with blood work, scans, and other testing turned into a weeklong hospital stay.  I was initially placed on the stroke floor because I exhibited the classic signs of a stroke.  I was the youngest person on the floor.  I was given a full stroke work up, checked for MS, and seizures as well, and the episodes that I was having continued and got worse.  I was told that it could be a range of things from my brain to my heart.  I felt lost…confused…afraid…worried…angry.  No one knew what was wrong with me and I knew that I wasn’t making up how I felt.  Every test that I had done came back negative for what the doctors were looking for.  I was grateful for that in the midst of everything but still frustrated at not having any solid answers.  I cried silent tears every night because I didn’t want to worry my family any more than they already were.  I was given medicines to control the episodes which they thought to be seizures.  I experienced adverse effects to them and almost lost my life due to one of the meds. From there I was transferred to the critical care unit in order to be more closely monitored and by this time I was tired.  I felt like giving up.  I just wanted to know what was wrong with me.  I cried out to God and asked for answers and clarity.  I just wanted to understand what was going on. I was finally diagnosed with a rare disorder called Hemiplegic Migraine Disorder.  The disorder completely affected the left side of my body.  When the doctor began to describe the disorder I was mentally checking off every sign and symptom mentioned because I was experiencing them all.  I was told that I couldn’t drive again until cleared by a doctor, that I would be on medications for the rest of my life to control the episodes, that I would be out of work for a while……my entire life changed.

Once released from the hospital, the episodes continued and my body ached. The migraines were horrible. I could barely walk without someone helping me or a walker…I went to physical therapy….had exercises to do at home…..but I still believed that God was a healer.  From February to April I didn’t feel like myself.  I began learning to adjust to life with this disorder.  I couldn’t do anything quickly anymore and there was even much I couldn’t do for myself at all.  The episodes came out of nowhere and any progress I made through the day was lost with each episode that came. I felt so defeated at times. It was so frustrating but I was surrounded by and amazing support system that kept my prayed up and motivated. I finally got to a point where I could begin to be alone and do some things for myself again, and the episodes even began to slow down some.

On April 11th, I literally pressed my way to to service at my church and my Bishop stopped me during service as he saw me barely walking.  He told me that the Lord made him stop right then and pray for me. He was sensitive to the Spirit and did as he was advised.  As he began to pray for me and speak healing over my life I felt God’s presence in a way that I never have. God with his amazing self was healing me even then.  I literally went from dragging myself into church, to leaping, running, and praising God in a way that I never have. The awesome part is that same day I had gone to see my neurologist for severe headaches that I was still experiencing, and was placed on three more meds in addition to three that I was already taking. Since that night at church I haven’t had a migraine or an episode, I walk normally again, I’m driving and getting back into work….. and I haven’t taken any of those medications! I feel no more pain. No more weakness. No more numbness. No more dizziness. No more sensitivity to light and sound.

God is truly a healer. He keeps His word and He never allows us to go through things that we are not equipped to handle. This experience has increased my faith and taught me to solely lean on Jesus.  I know that it was no one but Him that took this burden away from me and completely healed my body.  I’m determined to share the word that miracles still happen because I am a living witness. I hope that my story will continue to encourage and inspire others that are facing challenges. Below you will find the link to a video I shared the night that I was healed.  Peace and Blessings to each and every one of you.


Phase 11: Christina’s Journey- My Stem Cell Rebirth

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On March 3, 2015 I was admitted into Baptist Hospital at Wake Forest in the Cancer Center to receive my Stem Cell Autologous Transplant.  For exactly 5 days straight, the Doctors killed ALL of my good and bad cells in my body to break my body to zero through chemotherapy, which equates to no immune system, in order to kill my Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Cancer for good.  It had “ruled” my life for over 2 years at the moment.  I was ready to live my life that God had created for me to live.  I am going to type my journal entry for the day I received my new body, my rebirth on March 9, 2015.  Today is my First Birthday of my Rebirth.

3/9/15 “‘Made Alive with God.’  Today is one of the best days of my life.  I get my stem cells!! My life begins anew today.  This moment is very symbolic to me. Ephesians 2: 8-9 ‘For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.’ The scripture speaks clearly to me today.  God gave me this “gift” to share with others.  My daddy would tell me that this is not for me but God is working through me to bring others closer to Him.  I continuously give God all the praise and all the thanks no matter what, because He makes everything anew and fresh again.  I guess my stem cells will be on “fleek” today, just a little humor.  My old life will be no more after 2 pm, thank you God for a fresh start.  You have shown me so much favor and I am blessed to be your child and I try everyday to walk in your light.  This has become a letter to God, wow.  I just can not stop praising Him.  I will conclude here, I will most likely return later today.  ~ Love you always”

I hope my journey continues to empower others to hold on because it gets easier everyday, but I know there will be days where you do not want to do anything.  Not even go outside, but you have to.  Your mind is very powerful and it will become what you tell it to become.  Do not become your illness because it is only temporary.  I am writing you this from experience as I still continue to #survive and #fight everyday!

Phase 10: Christina’s Journey-Creating Your Legacy and Building Your Empire


“Most people die at 25 and aren’t buried until they’re 75.” ~Benjamin Franklin

“GRIND in your 20s.  BUILD in your 30s. CHILL in your 40s.”

I am just going to put this question into the atmosphere that I have asked on some occasions but I never get responses.  I pray today there will be a healthy dialogue on this subject matter.





I am only asking these questions because as Young Adults we are vesting our time and our financial goals on retirement and purchasing our first home.  We very often forget the middle of the story and that is LIFE.  Life happens and a lot of the time when “life” comes knocking it will be a very unexpected approach where you will not have time to prepare.  If you have not begun figuring out the “game of life” the most important rule to the game is to have multiple avenues of income flowing in your household and to SAVE, SAVE, SAVE, SAVE….. Many of us are only relying on our main career/job to get us to retirement. Billionaires and Millionaires did not acquire their wealth from that approach, they had many avenues that were running parallel and/or perpendicular to grow their wealth.

I am sharing this information because FINANCES is a big chunk of the healing process of a Chronic Illness Young Adult because of the long list of medications, doctor visits, and procedures you do not want to have the added stress when you are trying to manage and overcome something much greater than money, your LIFE.  Please sit down and really create your “Wealth Plan.” As your Chronic Illness journey is beginning you have to have a plan and attainable/actionable goals to accomplish.  I highly recommend meeting with a Financial Advisor that can help guide you along your way so you know that you are getting the most out of your investments and that you are budgeting that is conducive to you and your family’s life style.  It is never too late to get your “house” in order as long as you are alive and breathing your dreams can still become a reality.  Take control of your FINANCES because you do not want them to control you, your healing, and your LEGACY!

I am going to make this a short and simple post because you need the time to marinate on this information I have provided to you.  I can show you how to grow your wealth in its current state and I have people who can help guide you through as well.  First, YOU HAVE TO JUMP!!!! You have to take a chance and believe in you and your family. You need to create your everlasting LEGACY to generate and build your EMPIRE today that will lead you into FREEDOM!


George Acheampong-Financial Advisor in Charlotte, NC:

Evie Brathwaite-Primerica Financial Advisor in Huntersville, NC:– 980.202.4100


Visit Kermilya’s and Christina’s It Works Pages:



Christina’s Journey: Phase 8

“The Lord replies, ‘Write down the message I am showing you in a vision.  Write it clearly on the tablets you use.  Then a messenger can read it and run to announce it.'” Habukkak 2:2

It has been a while since I have written anything.  The reason of my absence is due to illness and I kind of lost my way.  I strongly believe as being a leader I must be transparent and true to myself, so I can become stronger after the trial is over.  It is very important to do the above task, because that is how you keep pushing when you feel like giving up.

I know you are wondering what my thoughts have to do with the Lord’s request of writing down your message from your vision.  Anything we put into the atmosphere will become our reality.  You must be careful because as the scripture states messengers will announce your information to others.  Being in remission has had a profound effect on me.  After having the Stem Cell Autologous Transplant my life felt real again.  All of sudden the joy of recovery came to a screeching halt.  I did not understand how I went from positive movement to negativity of a downward spiral.  I had a lung disease caused by excessive amount of chemotherapy and I was on steroids that altered me mentally and caused great physical pain.  My body was not following instructions and with all of these disorders I became isolated.  It took away my quality of life that I waited so long to gain again.  I truly lost all of my motivation and my determination to keep what is mine.

My epiphany moment did not occur until recently.  Our brain is a powerful machine.  Sometimes I would not get out of the bed either from being in so much pain or depression was settling in.  Being a Survivor is the hardest person to be when you were always fighting to stay alive.  It took a lot of changing my mindset.  I knew God never left me and He gave me the tools to be my own hero.  I began going back in my journal to see where my spark was so I can continue to fight the next chronic illness battle.  I will tell God, my family, and my friends that I wanted my life back and only 24 hours to be pain free and illness free.  When the Lord responded, it was in the scripture to write the vision and share the vision.  I shared my vision to myself to have motivation and determination again to live my “new” normal life without cancer.  The steps to a better life just began this week.  I had been silencing and blocking God’s vision because I was putting negativity into the atmosphere and getting no nourishment.

Overall, chronic illness is consuming all of your being.  I know first hand if it consumes you, you will become the reality of your thoughts.  As always, it still is a battle everyday to stay mentally strong and alive to have the best quality of life!

Always Surviving,


Christina’s Journey: Phase 7

When diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on November 15, 2013; exactly one month and three days after I had married my wonderful David, you would think that I would have been ANGRY at God, cancer, and my overall life but I was not.  I looked at cancer as a “gift.”  Something meant for others rather than for my own life lessons.  I knew God was utilizing me as a vessel to draw more closer to Him and get that relationship with Him that every devout Christian strongly urges.  I went through my treatments like being an Avenger character in the comics.  I never gave up, I kept persevering, and I knew that I was going to inspire others through my trial.  I never complained, I accepted willingly and without a drop of a tear falling from my eye.

I was taught by my role models; who are my parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, that we push through barriers to survive, we do not complain we just provide the solution to the issue, and we take care of people who have paved the way for you and teach others to pay it forward to the next.  These are my principles in my life and they are a great foundation to build upon, but through my current experience this foundation can become a little unstable.  Utilizing my principles, I never saw cancer as a “villain” nor did it bring me anger at the time.  I was the bright sunshine face that I have always been and continue to be since God created me.  As mastering  “The 5 Levels of Leadership,” I had mastered other greats (created other leaders) because of how I was able to control situations, find a solution, and keep smiling to the next challenge.  I am here to tell you that those fundamentals that I used to move and politic in Corporate America has a downward spiral affect on a remission cancer survivor who is suffering with another chronic illness.

Now I am ANGRY at cancer.  Cancer has caused me to lose memory and I had to learn how to process information differently in order to feel “normal.” Cancer has caused me not to be able to breath at the same capacity because I have a paralyzed diaphragm, which has restricted my air flow.  Cancer has caused me to have chronic pain in certain parts of my body where some days I can not get out the bed or go downstairs in my home.  Cancer has caused me to feel guilt that I am still here and others are not.  I AM ANGRY! I am wanting and striving to be everyone’s hero and role model because that is how God made me to be, no changing that DNA but someone can be my hero and I will lower my walls of vulnerability to receive.  Being in remission is a blessing and a curse.

One thing I know and is very clear, God keeps His promises.  (Hebrews 6) I have asked God for guidance and signs so I know I am on the right path for His works and He has sent them to me clear as day.  My daddy told me and explained that I can ask God whatever I wanted especially now in my new venture.  Through my pain, happy/sad moments, doubt, comfort, and love I will FOREVER BLESS and THANK GOD for every trial and tribulation He continues to see me through.

I am becoming more transparent, because that is the true form of leadership and being honest with yourself brings you to a whole new level in life.  I hope my story continues to inspire and teach because that is my vision and purpose.  With much love CDS-YOUNG

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!


Christina’s Journey: Phase 6

“Out of your vulnerabilities will become your strength.” ~ Sigmund Freud

“At first glance it may appear too hard.  Look again.  Always look again.” ~ Unknown

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”     ~James 1:2-4


I have truly missed my followers and communicating with you over the past few weeks.  In Phase 5, I spoke on FEAR and how it can take control of everything and in return you are in a big whirlwind of emotions and pain.  With the help and guidance from God, you can and will prevail.  Having the Autologous Stem Cell Transplant on March 9th was a piece of cake within itself, but I am currently going through the biggest battle ever.  As I always say, I have battled cancer but the war is still not over yet.

After the transplant I was in quarantine for 60 days (30 in hospital and 30 at home) and with this confinement it created even more anxiety for me and no self worth at the time.  My body had just gone through a major reset just like a reset on an electronic device.  I was at the beginning of a new life, which came with a 2nd birthday to celebrate (March 9th), and a brand new “internal” body.  The everyday person would believe that being in remission is a huge accomplishment, and it is do not get me wrong, but to a cancer victim/survivor it is the question of “where do I go from here?”

When I heard the magical and highly anticipated phrase, “you are cancer FREE and officially are in remission” on May 29th I honestly did not know how to feel or respond.  I had a lot of mix emotions.  My husband, David, was expressing to me my lack of enthusiasm.  I told David that I could not become enthusiastic and celebratory when something is amiss.  I was still battling an illness:  shortness of breath, back and chest pains, and my neck was swollen.  I can barely walk up and down the stairs of my home.  What happened to my “new” normal?  I do not have an ounce of my newness anywhere in my opinion, because I feel worse more than ever.

It upsets David, my family, and my Hematologist/Oncologist that going through my current situation with my lungs and whatever else is hidden in my body is 10x worse and I would rather deal with cancer.  No one really knows what I am going through post cancer.  Many who have not had cancer think that you should be bouncing back into your old routines and that everything is moving upward and forward.  I am here to tell you that I am still fighting everyday for my life and for my life to have true  quality.  I always have a smile on my face and an optimistic mindset because that keeps me some what sane.

Before, I never questioned God on why He gave me cancer and to be a vessel to reach more people and now I am suffering another chronic illness from the aftermath of cancer.  My daddy told me I can ask God for guidance and what way does He want me to go until I reach my ultimate goal of being healed.  God will only put the right amount of burdens on us that He knows we have the tools to overcome but my humanistic way becomes sparked and you become tired…… I AM VERY TIRED!

I have discovered over the past few weeks, in order to heal effectively I must center my focus around me which is hard.  I am the type of individual who wants to see others succeed and fix their situations, which some elements of being Mrs.Fixit comes from my “Survivor’s Guilt.” I go beyond the call of duty for others because it has been done for me over the past 2 years and I end up excluding myself and care from the equation.  I am not able to go and/or do because of my body is not capable to go the way my mind wants to.  I also refuse for anyone to stop their life on my account because I understand the true meaning of life, so enjoy every second of it.  I have accepted that I am not going to be able to share every life’s moments every time, but when God leaves a small crack of opportunity exposed  I will break it down to get a little taste of being “normal.”

I am being very transparent as usual, because I do not wear a #chronicillnesshere t-shirt on my chest everyday this does not mean I am not trying to reach the highest peaks in life; it will just take me some time to get there due to my illness.  Life is awesome and my goal everyday is to live it to the fullest!  Life is not over until I am lying in a casket or my ashes are being shared with the Earth.

I hope this encourages and brings more closure for someone out there who is  surviving, a fallen survivor, and a caregiver.  You are not alone, even though, you may feel like you are.  There is always someone experiencing the same lyrics of your song